Steroids doing the rounds on the Sunshine Coast: AMA
SUNSHINE Coast GPs are seeing an increase in the number of men seeking treatment for the side-effects of illegal steroid use.
Australian Medical Association Queensland's Dr Mason Stevenson said more and more young men were also coming forward seeking prescriptions for testosterone, something usually reserved for men aged 50-plus.
The revelations came as Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson called for a serious investigation into the impact of steroids and other drugs when combined with alcohol.
Dr Stevenson said the issue of illegal steroid use was under-recognised and under-reported because abusers were not confessing.
"Sunshine Coast is not in dissimilar to Kings Cross or Fortitude Valley," he said.
"We have the same degree of steroid abusers and steroid rage, and associated personal harm to others.
"It's a true addiction in that it is very difficult to cease illicit steroid usage."
Are illicit steroids a problem on the Sunshine Coast?
This poll ended on 25 January 2014.
Yes, it's rife.
Yes, but it's not as big a problem as people say
There's no steroid problem on the Sunshine Coast
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Performance and image-enhancing drugs include steroids, hormones, insulin and peptides.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids are derived from testosterone and can be injected or taken as a tablet.
The latest Illicit Drug Data Report from the Australian Crime Commission 2011-12 says the number of performance and image-enhancing drugs detected at the Australian border increased by 56.9% and are the highest reported in the past decade.
Dr Stevenson said the best way to curb the rise was to continue to raise awareness of the side-effects, which include severe acne and shrinkage of testicles.
"Steroids mixed with other drugs, especially alcohol or amphetamines, leads commonly to out of control behaviour," he said.
"There is widespread naivety among steroid users and promoters about these devastating side-effects."
According to Queensland Police Service, there were 12 steroid seizures in the Sunshine Coast Police district in 2013, down from 13 the year before.
Statewide, there were 261 seizures in 2013 and 249 in 2012.
Potential side-effects include:
- High blood pressure
- Liver and heart problems
- Increase aggression and irritability ("roid rage")
Source: Australian Drug Foundation